Thu | May 23, 2019

Jamaican new president of West Indian American Day Carnival

Published:Thursday | August 30, 2018 | 12:00 AM

St Elizabeth-born Dr Ionie Pierce is the new president of the annual West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA) in New York. Dr Pierce is the first Jamaican woman in the Carnival's 51-year history to lead the association.

The Brooklyn-anchored historic event - the largest parade and festival in the United States - attracts over 3.5 million participants annually, effectively pulling more people than the entire Jamaican population.

Dr Pierce takes over the top post from the late William Howard, the African-American president who was found dead in his Brooklyn home on Sunday, August 5.

The carnival celebration kicks off today, August 30, with the funky reggae party with headliner Charly Black. Other performers include Nailah Blackman (Trinidad), Ayo Jay (Nigeria), Linky First (Jamaica) and Brooklyn's own Aquel J (Trinidad) and DyDy (Jamaica).

The remainder of the weekend is jam-packed with events, including the popular Brass Fest concert on Friday, featuring Soca Ambassadors Destra Garcia and Bakanal Band (Trinidad), Patrice Roberts (Trinidad), Lyrikal (Trinidad), Farmer Nappy (Trinidad), Problem Child (St Vincent), Skinny Banton (Grenada), and Brooklyn's own Rayzor and Request Band.

Junior Carnival happens on Saturday, September 1, then on Sunday, September 2 the Dimanche Gras finale includes Lord Nelson, King David Rudder, Denise Belfon along with the king, queen and individuals of the bands costume presentations.

The Brooklyn festival reaches a colourful and explosive crescendo on the famed Eastern Parkway on Labor Day, Monday, September 3, with the Brooklyn Parade which showcases an unending train of costumed bands, masquerades, jumbies, floats and dance groups.